Articles in Category: Memories

Remembering Dad

My father Merrill Pepperd was known as an unusual man, but not for the obvious reason that he was deaf. He was perceptive, charming, intelligent and adventurous. He was born in 1897, the second in a family of six. This picture was taken of him in 1922 in Klamouth Falls, Oregon. That is a long way form Comanche County, Kansas where he was born and grew up. I've often wondered what drew him to that place, but he became known to the family for his wanderlust. That wasn't always good with young mouths to feed.


On the farm we had a rather small black dog named Nicodemus. Brother always claimed the family dog, and this one truly lead a dog’s life. My sister and I used to dress him up in girl’s clothing, paint his nails red, and push him around in a doll buggie. Nicodemus rather liked the attention, but it drove our brother crazy. Mind you, it was a short drive, and Sissie and I were experts at finding our older brother’s raw nerves. Any entertainment on a busy farm is sparse, but dressing a male dog in drag was an unthinkable outrage from brother's perspective.

Rocky the Intrepid

Rocky was battling the mean roads of Louisiana when our son Kevin rescued him from the pizza pickup driver who was doing his best to run over him. He put up a good fight, but he was out of his weight class. Ever after he planted his feet and barked fiercely at all other pickups except Kevin's red one. I'll always wonder what he was called before, but the name Rocky seemed just fine with him.

Thanksgiving Memories

alley family gathering 2x4The horse didn't know the way, and there weren't any woods on the Kansas prairie, but to Grandmother's house we went. Actually, it was great-grandmother's house and Grandmother went too. Those were wonderful times with lasting memories. I was too young and full of myself then to realize that when I entered Grandmother Alley's house on such occasions, I was witnessing an academy performance of cooking skills. Grandmothers, aunts and even cousins qualified as entrants, but I think Great Aunt Maude Alley would have won the Oscar. After all, it was her kitchen.

The greatest delight of country children was to get to play with cousins of the same age. At home I usually had duties to perform at meal time, but with so many grown women in the kitchen and dining rooms, we younger cousins roamed free. Toys? Who needed toys? There was a bike or two to be shared.

Mother Love, A Posey for Zora

posey_for_mom-2x2Mother was named Zora. Zora is a brand, not a name. In all my years, I have only seen the name Zora two other times. That is puzzling. She was named for her god mother, Zora Platt. In our county, people didn't bother to use Mother's last name; it was just Zora, and she was a charmer of all shapes, sizes and things.

To mother, love was food and food was love. I guess it is part of her nurturing instinct. It was also associated with talent. Mother was renowned for her fried chicken, her pies and her homemade noodles. While Mother taught my sister and I to cook all other goodies, she never once suggested we attempt any of her signature dishes. I'm a bit ho-hum about chicken, but I studied her efforts at pie crusts and noodles. Separately my sister and I accused her of not wanting any competition for her noodles or pie. We both got the same reply: a delighted, hearty laugh.

When the Wind Blows

The wind blew today, hot and dusty with lots of fuzzies from Mesquite trees and Desert Broom.  For some reason, it made me think of a memorable day in my childhood although today's wind and dust did not compare to that awesome day.

 Dad and I were at Granddad Pepperd's farm on the plains of Kansas. The year was 1939 or there about.  It was a hot summer morning, but not so hot that a playful child would stay inside.

Phil's First Tree

"Nana, I want to paint something," said our youngest grandchild. Actually at 22, he was grand, but no child, and I just looked at him. I was wondering if he wanted to repaint the house or take up art work. I played it safe.

The Utter Joy of Spring

Spring is my favorite time of year. It brings back joyful memories. Spring of course gets all mixed up with Easter time. For Easter, we got new clothes. Looking back on it though, it is hard to believe that everything was new, from underwear to shoes and socks, but that is how I remember it.

Childhood, A Scary World

Do not go into the basement, batteries will eat up little girls. Do not go out into the pasture, the bull will kill you. Do not go near the pig pen; a mother sow will kill you and eat you. Do not climb the windmill, the fan blades will cut off your head. Do not kick the horse in the flanks; he will throw you off and break your neck. Watch out for gypsies, they like to steal pretty little girls. They will teach you to beg, and we will never see you again. Do not hold on to the door handle when you are in the Terraplane, it will throw you right out of the car.

The Curse of an MBA

You spend a fortune and an incredible amount of time, agony and energy to get a Masters of Business Administration. You get a piece of paper for all that, and that is supposed to make you a very marketable commodity and assure you a good salary and lifestyle. Oh sure, but what no one tells you is that forever after, all that training will stalk you mercilessly. You are doomed, doomed to spend your life calculating cost/benefit analyses!

The Creative Tug

Is there such a thing as a creative mind? Is creativity a mark of genius, insanity or plain necessity? My hunch is that it is often a combination of the three with necessity leading the pack.